Friday, 14 May 2010

J's Chimes: What Constitutes A Good Cosplay

I love cosplay. To me, it is a creative way of expressing yourself and your hobby for others to appreciate. However, there are still not many people adopting this new trend yet in Singapore and often thinks that these things are childish and naive. The fact is that people cosplay to pay tribute to their favourite animes and are fans of it too. Cosplay is something I'd wanted to try and will attempt to participate at least once in my lifetime. What constitutes a good cosplay? Here are the 10 tips that I've came out with that are somewhat critical if you are aiming to please your audience.

1. Your Appearance And Looks
Whatever the case, your looks are still one of the most important factors to think about when cosplaying as your favourite character. This includes your physique and your face, whether you'd be suitable to cosplay as the character you wanted. It would be awkward of you to cosplay as a character that doesn't suit you both in looks and appearance in particular and you'd might ended up as a lost sheep in the middle of the crowd. Choose one that suits you best or work towards it by pumping lead to get the physique you wanted so as to impress the audiences.

2. Your Makeup
In many cases, cosplayers in Singapore do not really use makeups as much as those in Japan. Makeup is considered one of the most important preparatory tools in cosplaying. It is especially so to cosplayers dressing up as their favourite female anime characters because makeup gives not only the confidence to be on the runway, but also covers up spots or marks that might affect your cosplay in some ways. Makeup also helps you attain the features or looks that the anime character has that you wanted.

3. Making, Wearing And Displaying Your Costume
Probably the reason why you wanna cosplay. Making the costumes can be hard but rewarding once it is done. Some considered renting them from stores or bought it online. However the case, anyone who spent their time making them, buying the items needed for their costumes, planning, etc... are the ones that are truly admirable. Rushing to complete your costume is a bad option as you might missed out on certain problems or details that might affect your cosplay.

4. Passion And Creativity
It is not easy to make your own costumes. Or rather, you'd need lots of creativity and passion to have the momentum, mood and morale to start making them from scratch. That goes without saying the planning stage, measurements, trial and errors, editing and authoring, testings and correctings and lastly, the making of the costume. If you are passionate about such stuff, it drives you finish it asap. Without such an empowerment, one will give up in the midst or might even be demoralize by the sheer problems encountered when making your costumes.

5. Your Budget
One of the issues that might hinder your cosplay would be the cost of purchasing the materials needed for your costumes. It will often exceed the budget you'd set aside for your costume because of the minor details that you might have missed out in the process of making your costume. If you are on a tight budget, one suggestion is to go looking around for other alternatives of the things you may need for your costumes. For example if you could make a glove instead of buying it, it would cost much lesser. Alternatively, you could buy substitutes or cheaper materials for your costume that is similar to the ones you'd need.

6. Your Cosplay Pose
Cosplayers often neglect coming up with poses that they should make beforehand. In my opinion, cosplayers should think of poses and practice it in front of their mirrors so that they would know what is good and what's not. This is often true because most cosplayers just come up with an awkward that ruins the mood. Your pose is dependent on the character you gonna cosplay as. Take for example Final Fantasy, you gonna pose a look that says 'Cool' instead of a normal gesture with no emotions whatsoever. Come out with something great, and then the photographers will swarm to you.

7. Your Attitude Towards Cosplay
One of the important basic elements of being a cosplayer. A positive attitude towards cosplay sets the mood for the audiences and you. Cosplay is suppose to be a happy and wonderful event where people take photographs and appreciating the works of cosplayers. I've met a seemingly selfish cosplayer who scolds photographers for not asking permissions before taking their photos. Hello?! If that's the case, why are you here then? Must you expect a swarm of photographers to each ask you permission to take your photos in a cosplay event? That girl was quickly condemned then...

8. Your Love For Anime And Stuff
Wouldn't you know it? Almost all cosplayers love animes, else why did they dressed themselves up as characters they love and admire? It all boils down to one thing, it is a hobby. It is a hobby fast expanding from ages 16 to 24 now in Singapore as animes are becoming popular as of late. However am at the generation whereby few of my friends love anime so it's a sad thing and not only they do not understand it, but condemn and criticize it as a childish thing to do. Well, the truth is almost all adults think it that way. Such generations are not expose much to this anime culture and thus the difference between us and them. Your love of anime must be strong to remain adamant that anime is actually a nice hobby, and thus cosplay to offer tribute to it.

9. Take Critism And Move On
Perhaps one of the most crucial thing to think off before turning up in any cosplay event. Is my costume good? How do I look? Am I going to be flame in the forums? Will I be condemned? Seriously I believe that even though a good cosplay constitutes all the aspects am talking about now, one very important trait that cosplayers should have is to be courageous. I envy those doing it because they came to cosplay to enjoy themselves and show all their fruits of labor for the public to appreciate. It doesn't matter if you did badly, so long as you believed in yourself that you did your best and that you have nothing to be afraid of. After all, you are here to enjoy and be yourself. Though criticisms may hurt, move on and do better next time round.

10. Learn And Improve
Finally, after or even before a cosplay event, you'd definitely learn new skills, insights, experience and stuff in the midst of making and displaying your creation. Learn and improve for your next character cosplay. That way, you'd become better as time goes on. Whether it'd be a mistake, problem and stuff, this entire process is a good learning experience. Do things that you can do in your youth before it's too late and regretting it when you are old. After all, you only live life once.

I hope that these 10 tips could help anyone in pursue for becoming better at cosplaying. And for those who don't, you might wanna give it a try and gain a new perspective of it. Hopefully there are many more events coming up in Singapore so that such events could help enlightened people about what cosplay is about.

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